Russia's Baikal Lake Still Faces a Huge Threat of Water Pollution

by VR Sreeraman on  March 26, 2008 at 12:41 PM Environmental Health
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Russia's Baikal Lake Still Faces a Huge Threat of Water Pollution
Despite continuous efforts to save Lake Baikal, the world's largest and oldest body of fresh water from contamination, a new study has found that the lake still faces a huge threat of water pollution.

According to the article, Lake Baikal is the world's deepest lake and is a habitat of more than 1,500 species found nowhere else on earth. It also holds 20 percent of the world's unfrozen freshwater.

However, compared to other areas in the world such as North America and Western Europe, less is known about the regional contamination to plant and animal life from compounds called perfluorochemicals (PFCs).

The team of researchers led by Hisato Itawa calculated PFCs levels in the livers and sera of Baikal seals, the only entirely freshwater seal species in the world.

They compared it with the levels recorded in 1992. The findings revealed that several chemicals were elevated to indicate an ongoing source of contamination in the lake.

"Given these results, continuous monitoring of PFCs as well as dioxin-like compounds in Baikal seals is necessary to assess potential biological effects of PFCs," said the report.

Source: ANI
SRM/L

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